1996 All-Anne Arundel County football teams

November 22, 1996|By Pat O'Malley

Player of the Year

Monte Graves, St. Mary's, senior, linebacker: backer: Clearly the leader and the player who set the tempo in each game for the top-ranked Saints (8-2), Graves (6 feet 2, 240 pounds) was noted for his bruising tackles. The first St. Mary's athlete ever named one of the Sun's football players of the year, Graves asked to be on the kicking and punting teams this season so he could deal some extracurricular punishment. "I always tried to make the first big hit of the game or I would start off by pounding the other team's center early," said Graves, who possesses at least 4.7 speed. Graves led the Saints in unassisted tackles (62), assisted on 52 others, had an interception and a blocked punt and had eight sacks. Roving the field with abandon, he intimidated opponents while inspiring his teammates to a county-low 122 points yielded. "He's the best linebacker I've coached, " said coach Brad Best. "And as a team captain this year, he turned into the leader we hoped for." Boston College, West Point, Navy, West Virginia and Virginia are all recruiting Graves, also a superb blocking guard in the Saints' offense.

First team -- defense

Richard Allen, North County, senior, down lineman: Two-time All-County and a three-year starter, this 6-foot-3, 240-pounder was All-Metro as a junior and lived up to his billing. Allen, who has 4.7 speed, led the Knights' defensive line with 70 unassisted tackles, 30 assisted, had two fumble recoveries while causing six more, blocked a punt (and returned it 2 yards for a touchdown against Broadneck) and had 10 sacks.

Doug Bast, Old Mill, senior, linebacker: Bast led the county in punting (37.2-yard average on 40 attempts), but made even bigger contributions as the Patriots' hit man. The 6-foot, 180-pounder anchored a defense that gave up just 14.7 points per in a 4-6 season. Bast, also a blocking fullback, led his team in unassisted tackles with 52, assisted on 30 more, had three fumble recoveries and two interceptions.

Brooks Barnard, Broadneck, junior, punter: er: Barnard led the county in punting until getting two blocked in his last game, finishing behind Bast at 35.7. His punting gave the Bruins good field position all season, setting up scoring chances, including field goals, which he took himself. Barnard led the county in field goals (five) and kicked 22 extra points for the 6-4 Bruins.

Rob Bookhamer, Chesapeake, senior, linebacker: backer: The athletic Bookhamer led the county in unassisted tackles (117) and is one of the most fundamentally sound players at his position in the history of county football. The 6-2, 185-pound three-year starter impressed opposing coaches with his relentless pursuit of ball carriers. Few high school players read plays as well as Bookhamer.

Chris Field, Severna Park, senior, tackle: The Falcons' standout, two-way tackle rarely came off the field, springing backs for big gains and leading the defense in unassisted tackles (51). Quick feet and brute strength made the 6-4, 240-pounder practically immovable. "Chris is one of the best linemen we've had at Severna Park," said coach Borland. Field, who is the leading candidate for the Annapolis Touchdown Club's Al Laramore Trophy, which goes to the county's top lineman, is being recruited by Maryland and several other Division I schools.

Donnell Foote, Annapolis, junior, back: A gifted athlete, Foote was the Panthers' "Mr. Fix-It", playing not only safety, at which he picked off four passes and knocked down 20 others, but end (23 receptions for 546 yards and seven touchdowns), running back (200 yards) and quarterback (three TD passes). Wherever coach Roy Brown had a problem, he could put the speedy (4.5), 6-2, 210-pound Foote to fill the hole. "Donnell was the best athlete on our team," said Brown.

Rob Hoffman, St. Mary's, junior, down lineman: A key member of the Saints' hard-hitting defense, the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Hoffman was in on 80 tackles (42 unassisted), led the team in sacks (nine), blocked three punts, had one interception and two fumble recoveries. Opponents tried to run away from his side.

George Houston, Meade, senior, down lineman: man: A tough, two-way tackle, Houston (6-1, 265) opened holes for the Mustangs' two 1,000-yard rushers -- Tornardo Sharps (1,765) and Jesse Barnes (1,050) -- and moved over to the other side of the ball to anchor a bulky defensive line that enabled the county champions to hold foes to just 136 points in the regular season, second best among 4A schools. Houston had 40 unassisted tackles.

Shaun Hunt, Severna Park, senior, back: Hunt (5-11, 175) was in on more than 30 tackles, had four interceptions and eight knockdowns for the 6-4 Falcons. "Shaun had excellent quickness and was very dependable back there," said coach Borland. Duquesne, Lebanon Valley and Towson State have shown interest in Hunt.

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